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The self-checkout and a shame-free shopping experience

Photo by pin add / by NCND 2.0 CC

Last week I had a mad craving for cookies. After fighting it for hours, I decided to just give in instead of obsessing about it. So I drove to the grocery store at ten o’clock at night, grabbed a box of Lofthouse cookies (with pink icing and sprinkles) and headed to the self-checkout lane. This is when it occurred to me that although the self-checkout lane has saved me hours of time I would have spent in longer, slower-moving lines, it’s also been bad for my waistline.

Before the self-checkout, a cashier had to scan all your items for you. I would always imagine the cashier was judging my purchases, silently snarking at my choices. It’s more likely that the cashier didn’t care how many bottles of soda I was purchasing, but was more fixated on the wall clock and how many more minutes were left in their shift. Still, the possibility that they were judging me always made me slightly uncomfortable.

The self-checkout machine does not […]

Grocery bill blues

Photo by rsadler / by NCND 2.0 CC

Ever since I started freelancing full-time, I’ve been tracking all my expenses. I like to make sure the money going out isn’t greater than the money going in, because that would be a very bad business plan indeed. (Unless you’re the federal government.) This is how I know that my food/grocery expenses have gone up since I moved from Indianapolis to Chapel Hill, though I don’t exactly know why. The first month I was here, I expected it to go up because I had to buy basic staples that I hadn’t bothered to move across the country, and I had to eat out on the road. But August’s bill was about $40-$70 higher than it averaged in Indy.

I’m not sure if the prices at Harris-Teeter are higher than they were at Kroger. I don’t know if I mooched more food off of my old roommate than I realized. I’m spending more time at coffee shops to get out of my apartment, which has bumped the sum a bit. […]


I stared at the candy display rack for a moment before I grabbed two Cadbury creme eggs and a chocolate covered marshmallow heart. Then I started walking towards the ice cream aisle. In my way was a blonde man in a black leather jacket who was walking slowly towards me while holding a grocery basket . He kind of looks like my brother, I thought. Oh, crap. He is my brother!

I palmed the chocolate in my right hand and waved at him with my left. Ha! So funny to see you here I said, and Yeah, just finished my workout he said, and Like the new hair color I said, and Like your new haircut he said, and we continued to chit chat. In his basket were no-sugar-added fudge pops and lean ground beef and other disgustingly healthy items.

“So, what are you getting here?” He asked. I wasn’t sure if he knew the answer already, but I looked at the tile floor embarrassed.

“Uh, I was buying…chocolate,” I said as I showed him the creamy partially […]

New opportunities to buy overpriced sushi

I’d never parked on the roof of a grocery store before. I’d never been to a grocery store that had parking on the roof before. Now that the Fresh Market has come to town, I can check that off the list, because that was right up there with “pet a monkey” on the list of things I absolutely must do before I die.

I had to park on the roof because every single resident of Indianapolis was as stupidly excited about the opening of this grocery store as I was. Yay! I’m not the only food dork! I’ve been driving by the construction site every day on the way home from work, hoping for the day when I can easily stop off to buy overpriced sushi instead of detouring several miles out of my way to buy overpriced sushi. When they changed the banner from “Coming soon” to “Coming June 25,” I nearly started bouncing up and down in my car. I know they’re going to charge me far too much for mangoes, but I just […]

The price of good health

I may not have cable, but I have Buddhist style dumpling bao.

(Or I had it before it entered the acidic wasteland known as my stomach.)

I have no idea what dumpling bao is or what makes this one Buddhist style. (There was no meat in it, so if it believes in reincarnation, I can’t be accused of cannibalism.) When they cut a carrot wedge into a star and placed it on top, they had me sold. And pay I did. I’ve kept a budget of my spending habits for over the past year. In 2007 I spent an average of $360 a month at the grocery store. For a single woman in the Midwest, that’s probably a high number. I don’t eat out much, so that represents the majority of my food bill for the year and averages to $11.80 a day. Somebody’s got to pay for a trucker to drive my plums in from Florida, because tropical fruits aren’t going to grow in an Indiana snow storm.

Eating well can be expensive. Last week I was […]

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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